In the City of Boston, education plays a pivotal role in shaping residents' lives. The Adult Literacy Initiative (ALI), led by the City of Boston's Worker Empowerment Cabinet in collaboration with

the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS) unit, empowers adult learners. Comprising 29 education providers, ALI serves about 3,500 diverse students annually with a wide range of programs, including literacy, high school equivalency, job skills, and ESOL classes.

The Office of Workforce Development (OWD) and the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC)work closely with ACLS to secure funding for these programs. Their efforts led to an FY24 allocation of $10,580,404. This represents a 10% increase in funding and reflects Boston's commitment to investing in adult learners and providing equitable access to adult education. OWD will continue to monitor for additional funding opportunities and ACLS pledges to evaluate and address gaps in the City’s adult literacy programming.

Beyond education, ALI is collaborating with the Equity and Inclusion Cabinet on the Literacy Task Force, launched in June 2023. This 15-member group includes several ALI members and adult learners and will study literacy rates, craft action plans for enhanced access to education and services, and advocate for literacy opportunities. This work will continue through December 2026, showcasing Boston's dedication to an inclusive, educated community. The Adult Literacy Initiative is emblematic of the City's commitment to providing every resident with access to education and a chance to unlock their full potential.

For more information ALI or to find an adult education program, visit boston.gov/adult-literacy. Photo by Everaldo Coelho (YellowIcon); Wikimedia commons.